Ages 21 - 30

Time is your most valuable asset. Because you are decades from retirement, contributions to a 403(b) plan or other retirement plan will have years to compound and grow. Even a modest contribution now will have a much greater impact than significantly larger contributions when you're in your 40s and 50s. If you start saving $200 a month in a retirement account from the moment you get your first full-time job at age 22, within 10 years you have more than $33,940 in your account, assuming your investments grow 6% per year. In 30 years, the account would grow to $201,908.* Some experts say that you should save 15% of your salary toward retirement.

*This hypothetical illustration is based on an annual effective rate of return of 6% and does not reflect the performance of any specific investment option. It does not take into account the payment of taxes and does not intend to predict investment results. The illustration does not include fees or expenses that an investment product could assess. If included, these fees would reduce the figures shown above.  Systematic investing does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. You should consider your ability to invest consistently in up as well as down markets. Not intended to serve as financial advice or as a primary basis for your investment decisions. Taxes are generally due upon withdrawal.  Your results may vary.

Ages 31 - 45

Your career is underway, and now you are ready to make the next big moves – perhaps starting a family or buying a home. Before you get too far down the road, it's time to map out a long-term plan. Unfortunately, most people live a lifestyle they want today, without putting away enough to live comfortably in retirement. It's time to budget.

You will need to answer these questions:

  • How much should I put into my account?
  • How should I allocate my savings?
  • How can I protect my life and my income?
  • How can I pay off my student loans?
  • How much house is too much?

Here are several steps you can take:

Step 1: Prepare for contingencies. Set up an emergency fund with enough to cover at least three to six months' worth of basic expenses. Before you have children, it may make sense to contribute as much as you can to your 403(b), 401(k) or other retirement plan. Also, start a Roth IRA. Contribute at least 15% of your gross income towards retirement savings.

Step 2: Save for a down payment on a first home.

Step 3: Set a goal for college savings.

Kades-Margolis can help you address these financial concepts:

  • Asset allocation
  • Dollar cost averaging
  • Tax deferral
  • Diversification

Remember to protect yourself from financial ruin by establishing a cash reserve for emergencies and by insuring your assets, your life and your earnings for your loved ones.

Ages 46 - 55

By now you're well established in your career. Perhaps you've accumulated assets, bought a home and your children may be planning on college. This complex period demands a comprehensive review of your investments to be sure your portfolio is well-balanced. It is not too soon to forecast your retirement plans and verify that you are steering towards financial independence.

Like most people you'll need to save for both retirement and in a college fund during this time. Unfortunately, many people do not. According to Kiplinger's Personal Finance, March 2013, if you have not saved 13% of your salary every year to replace your income in retirement, by age 45, you will need to save 29% of your salary every year going forward to catch up. You will need to continue to save.

During this time, it is important to meet with a financial advisor to address your personalized plan. This process includes several steps:

  • Decide on and prioritize your goals
  • Examine your current financial position
  • Take action to achieve your goals
  • Monitor your ongoing progress
  • Change goals and priorities as needed

The analysis of your information will reveal whether you are on target, or whether you need to rethink retirement, increase your savings, or revise your investment mix. Your advisor will recommend strategies and seek your approval to implement those strategies. The final steps, monitoring, recommending adjustments and keeping your plan on track, will continue throughout your working years and into retirement.

Ages 56 - 67

You have now successfully sailed through 25 plus years in the workplace. If saving for retirement was not your top priority until now, you may want to concentrate on maximizing contributions to your tax-sheltered account. If you've accumulated assets for supplemental income during retirement, you may want to reposition to a more conservative portfolio.

It is time to get serious about saving, especially if you haven't saved enough. And that's true for most people: according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute study, January 2013, nearly a third of Americans age 55 and older have saved less than $10,000 for retirement. Only 22% have saved $250,000 or more.

Most pre-retirees ask us these questions when facing retirement:

  • Can I afford to retire?
  • How should I invest my assets?
  • When should I apply for Social Security?
  • What should I do about health care?
  • What should I do about long-term care?

Implementing a product or service solution to these issues during the final leg of your career will make you more successful. Request a personalized plan of action to include:

  • Life insurance review
  • Long-term care insurance analysis
  • Portfolio review
  • Roth IRA conversion
  • State pension income and rollover options

Step 1: Analyze your capacity to save more

Step 2: Dare to downsize

Step 3: Consolidate your retirement plans

Step 4: Consider long-term care insurance

Step 5: Weigh Your Social Security Options

Step 6: Assess your spending needs


Whether you retire at 55, 65 or later, your focus switches from accumulating assets to utilizing them for distribution of income. Although a more conservative investment approach may be called for during retirement years you will also want to consider other factors:

  • Life expectancy
  • Taxes
  • Legacy planning
  • Inflation
  • Income planning

No matter where you find yourself on this financial journey, a Kades-Margolis Financial Advisor can help you identify your concerns, recommend a service or product to overcome the problem, then put the strategy into action. Among the many financial solutions that may be suggested are:

  • Mutual funds
  • Managed accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement income planning
  • Fixed and variable annuities
  • Long-Term Care Insurance